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OT vs. Comp Time

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  • OT vs. Comp Time

    In another thread, it was brought up that there is a move in Congress to change the job classifications of workers to exempt more peope from OT and give them Comp Time instead. Here's a link:


    My thoughts;

    I understand the basic premise behind this. Spend less money and give people time off instead. Sounds simple. But here's the rub (at least for public safety people).

    If you give me CT, you have to have someone replace me. Your choices are either hiring someone or bringing someone in on OT. Employers may try to make this work, but eventually, they'll figure out they are better off paying the OT.

    Come collective bargaining time, make sure your minimum manning clause is airtight.

    I have worked cases where I have worked 36 hours with no sleep and minimal breaks. That's alot of $. But at time and a half, that's about three days off. They have to have someone work for me for three days. The key is not to let the CT build up and force them to give you off. If they don't give you off, grieve it. It may not work right away, but eventually it'll turn around.

  • #2
    The crux of the problem with comp time is that they unless it is specified in your collective bargaining agreement, they can FORCE you to take time off when THEY want you to. We have a choice between time and a half pay or comp time. BUT we can only accumulate 96 hours and it cannot cause overtime by bringing someone in. Hence I havent taken any OT as comp time for a few years. It isnt a bad thing when you get the time off...Of course you earned it, but since I am already working a 53 hour week WITHOUT ANY overtime.


    • #3
      I don't think that'll have any direct change on the public safety sector, George. State/Local government already have the option to give comp time in lieu of overtime, although they might negotiate the exact details (like Mikey's case of limiting how much comp time you can bank).

      Some parts of gov't that works out well -- my town which is fairly small gives comp time to the highway department workers. If it's a bad winter, it helps keep the snow plowing expense within budget and they get a lot of bass fishing done come summer. If it's a mild winter, they still earn just as much they just spend more time on maintenance & patching during the summer (and we have the more money for that stuff since we didn't spend it on sand & salt!)

      State Police is all overtime -- like George said, doesn't make sense for public safety since you still have to staff at the same level, unlike say our town highway department where it's not critical except in winter.
      IACOJ Canine Officer


      • #4
        At my full time job (dispatcher) we get Comp Time, but we can only use up to 160 hours per year, and can accumulate up to 200 hours per year. But, there again, when I use my comp time, they are paying someone else either overtime or comp time to come in and work for me, because we only have full-time positions..........
        The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
        We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........


        • #5
          Comp time would be great IF you could choose when to use it. That scenario is not likely. Good point about the minimum staffing clause in the CBA George.
          Last edited by Duffman; 07-09-2003, 09:35 PM.
          "We shouldn't be opening firehouses in Baghdad and closing them in New York City."



          • #6
            Originally posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
            We have a choice between time and a half pay or comp time. BUT we can only accumulate 96 hours and it cannot cause overtime by bringing someone in.
            I've always been told that the *federal* limits for comp time for emergency personnel was 480 hours. I was also told that the city must pay cash for time worked beyond that 480. Of course, no one on my department has accrued more than 200 or so hours.


            • #7
              Show Me the MONEY!

              Comp time is ok.....When you are at your full staffing levels. Right now, my career department is so understaffed, that with guys going on vacation, guys sicking out (in order to get much-needed time off!!) and guys on other forms of leave, we are getting forced overtime pretty regularly. As a result of the guys being off, there is little to no opportunities for time off! Therefore, the comp time is useless! (For the time being, anyways.....)

              As an additional note.....If you stay on a day off for a mandatory training class...(Example: if it is something in your job description, like an EMT refrsher...) and your employer does not offer the class on duty time, or a normal shift for you, (hence the "mandatory" class) be sure that you receive OVERTIME if you want it! Many state regulations dictate that OVERTIME be offered for mandatory classes. Our boss tries to be slick and only offer comp time. Get the money if you want it!

              "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."


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